Sunday 14 June 2015

Saint Cumman Beg of Cill Cuimne, June 14

We can add another name to the list of obscure Irish holy women at June 14, Cumman Beg of Cill Cuimne. She is yet another saint for whom the only record we have is the listing of her name on the Irish calendars. As is so often the case, it is difficult to be definitive about the exact locality in which she flourished, as Canon O'Hanlon explains:

St. Cuman Becc, or Cumman Beg, Virgin, of Cill Cuimne.

The name of Cuman Becc of Tamnaigh, is entered in the Martyrology of Tallagh, as having been venerated, at the 14th of June. There was an old church, now uprooted at Kilcumney, in the deanery of Mullingar, and county of Westmeath. The Rev. Dr. Kelly appears to identify the place of this virgin with Rathdowney, a village and parish in the southern part of the Queen's County. It signifies, as the denomination now stands,"the fort of the church ;" but, the correct name should be Rathdowney, representing the Irish Rath-tamh-naigh, "the fort of the green field." This is said to have been the old pagan name. There was a Tamhnach-an-reata, now Tawny, in the parish of Derryvullan, in the barony of Tirkennedy, and county of Fermanagh. There is also a Tawny or Taney, a parish in the county of Dublin. In the Martyrology of Donegal, this saint is recorded, at the same date, as Cumman Beg, Virgin, of Cill Cuimne, at Tamhnach.

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